My boy is THREE AND A HALF!!

My Cheeky,

As you know, birthdays are kind of a big deal around here.  I feel like we just celebrated your third birthday but somehow it's already been six months! Three and a half. Wow, where does the time go?  I was looking back at your two-and-a-half years celebration and your looks really haven't changed much, but your personality...you're a totally different kid!  Here's a snippet of what you've been up to: 

You are now 34 inches tall and weigh 24.8 pounds.  You've grown almost an inch since your 3 year well visit and gained over a pound!  Dr. B was super impressed with your growth when we went in for your weight check the other day. (Thank you Pediasure!!)

During prayers the other night daddy asked you what you were thankful for. You very seriously responded, "Aspirin." We are too, buddy. We are too. Ha!

You try your very best to keep Jenny Kate under control. I'm sorry to say you don't typically succeed (often times none of us do), but you try to keep her in line. Surprisingly enough she often listens to you.

Your sister thinks you hung the moon.

This summer we had some real problems with the deer eating our garden.  You loved going down and peeing around the perimeter of the garden to keep the deer away.  (Hey, it's one of the perks of being a boy and it really helps.  Whatever!)  One day as I was getting ready to leave the house, you followed me outside and said, "Mommy, remember...if you have to pee pee outside, go over there (pointing to the garden) because it helps keep the reindeer away."  Then you told me goodbye and went back inside.  I'm not sure what made you think of it but it sure did make me chuckle.  Funny boy.

You've really gotten good on your bike! We were outside the other night and you were zooming all over the place. You've figured out that when you get stuck you just have to use your body a little to get that bike going. You also stood up a few times when you were going up the hill. Daddy and I both looked at each other in disbelief. We're not sure where you picked up these skills all of a sudden!

You have a full blown attitude and you know how to use it! You can go from a big helper to a sobbing mess on the floor in .5 seconds flat. I'm hoping this goes away soon??

You're obsessed with pointing out every D you see.

You're sleeping in underwear now! Honestly, you probably could have done this a long time ago but I wasn't ready to deal with it. You rarely kept a dry pull-up at night, but you're one of those, "if you have it, use it" kind of kids.

The second night you slept in underwear you got up and went to the bathroom by yourself. Apparently you peed on your shirt a little so you got a new shirt out of your dresser then went back to bed. You never even called for us! The only reason we knew anything about it was because Daddy noticed you had on a different shirt than you did when he put you to bed. Who is this 3.5 year old anyway?!

You're loving preschool. Oh, what an answer to prayer that is!

You enjoy dressing yourself and putting on your own shoes and socks. You also like to help Jenny Kate put on her shoes and socks. Of course, if I need you to get dressed so we can hurry up and get out of the house you absolutely refuse to be helpful...but you're three (and a half!!) and I guess you're supposed to be hard-headed.  

You and Jenny Kate were lying on our bed the other day before I took you upstairs for your nap.  You were trying to convince JK to sleep in our bed and you were trying to cover her up.  She kept flinging her legs all over the place and kicking the covers off and you said, "Come on, Jen!  You're wearing me out!"  Ha!  Oops!  I guess you've heard that before.  :)

CeCe (from Disney's Shake it Up) still comes to visit often. You actually made me fix her a plate at dinner one night because she came to eat with us. An empty plate was not ok, she had to have the same amount of food you did. CeCe goes places with us but she usually follows us in her own red car. Apparently she's too cool to ride with you and and the rents. :)

CeCe, Rocky, and a Moose (I'm assuming from If You Give a Moose a Muffin) came over the other day during dinner and they fixed their plates and went upstairs to the playroom to eat.  You got very upset with me because I would not let you take your plate to the playroom and eat with your "friends."  I kind of wish I would have let you just so I could have watched.  Maybe next time.  :)

Some days I think you're trying to outgrow your nap.  On school days you're usually pretty tired, but on the days you don't have school you sometimes don't want to nap.  You always go to your room (because Mommy really has to have that time...you'll understand one day), but some days you play with your racetrack first.  I think you have to take the time to convince yourself that you still do need that nap and it usually happens after you've been playing for a little while.  Today was one of the days where you wanted to play first.  You were on the floor driving your cars and said, "Ok Mommy, 'wove' you night night.  Oh, wait!  Can you say 1, 2, 3 DD so I can go to bed when I'm ready?"  So I did "1, 2, 3 DD" on your empty bed so when you were sleepy enough you could climb under DD and our routine would still be complete.  It made me smile and it made me realize how much our routines mean to you.  I love that we have those special things we do at bedtime.  I know we won't always do "1, 2, 3 DD" but it's something I definitely won't ever forget.  :)

One day after your nap I noticed that you had on a pair of plaid shorts.  (You change clothes often during nap time.  Not good for a laundry loathing mama!)  Every day you started insisting on wearing plaid shorts to bed and around the house; you even opened the dryer and dug through the clothes until you found those shorts.  Sunday morning you wanted to wear the shorts under your pants and that's when we finally really figured out what was going on.  You want to be just like Daddy!  I guess Santa will be on the lookout for some miniature plaid boxers!  Ha!  I can't wait to see you in those! 

Over these past few months you have grown up SO much!  Sometimes you seem so aware of everything around you that I honestly have to remind myself that you're only three.  You've become so mature and helpful at times that I could swear you are 7 instead of 3!  Then there are those "three year old" moments that make me want to crumble on the floor just like you're doing because of those crazy mood swings and tantrums.  I know it's part of growing up, and it seems lately that there have been less of those crying fits and more of the big boy moments.  I'll take either and love you to pieces no matter "which Derrick" you're being at the moment.  I love that we can have real conversations about things and that you understand so much.  You are such a little sponge and Daddy and I are both amazed sometimes at some of the things you say and do.  These past three-and-a-half years have been the best years of our lives. 

We love you to the moon and back, Sweet Cheeks! :)

Mommy, Daddy, and Jenny Kate



Ray Tanner Home Run, 12K

Y'all, we did it.

It's taken me over a week to write about it, but we did it.  

I had two goals:  
        1.  finish
        2.  not be the very last person crossing the finish line

I am insanely happy to say that both of those goals were met, although it didn't end quite like I had planned.  

As we were driving in we passed this guy:
It made my stomach churn.

Actually, it kinda makes me weak looking at again right now.

This "mile 7" marker made me nervous for lots of reasons, but the main one was that the most I'd ever done was 6 miles and it was NOT a good run!  The week before the run we did "easy" runs.  The four runs before the 12k were terrible for me.  I'd had (and still have) shin pain in my left leg like crazy, and as I was running the week before I could tell I was overcompensating somehow because as I would run my hip would hurt.  Three miles was the max for me and I was so scared I wasn't going to make it!

On the way to the race, Justin and I were talking about how crazy it was that we were on the way to a 7.45 mile run...that WE were running!  I mean, I couldn't run a quarter of a mile in May.  Clearly, God had carried us through the training and gotten us this far and we both wanted Him to be glorified as we ran that morning.  He had prepared our bodies for this and we were ready. 

We have awesome running buddies.  This past summer my running buddy moved away, but God provided not only me with a new partner, but Justin with one as well.  Brad and Susan have been an answered prayer and they have pushed each of us farther than we anticipated.  Gently, which is nice.  :) 

The race started, and like everyone promised, adrenaline carried me through a large portion of it.  I'm so thankful for our training on "Likas Hill" because I'm telling you what, downtown Columbia, SC is FULL of hills.  OMG!  There were several places where I was sure I could go no further.  Especially once we hit the 3/4 mile incline that I was pretty sure was never going to end.  But it did, finally, and it was downhill again.

The strangest thing happened to me as we were running.  As we hit around mile 6-6.5 we came to another BIG hill.  I remember looking at it and completely dreading it.  I remember Susan saying, "Ok, it's our last 'Likas Hill'."  We decided to push it up the hill to get through.  We were exhausted and going faster up a hill is sometimes easier, so faster we went.  I remember thinking to myself, "You're going really fast," but there wasn't anything I could do about it.  My body was running fast and I couldn't stop it.  Once I reached the top I felt dizzy.  There isn't a whole lot I remember about the last mile of the race.  I remember Susan encouraging me and her saying, "Oh, dizzy is not good." I vaguely remember passing that dreaded mile 7 marker, but that's about it.  I was in a dizzy fog the rest of the race.  There is no explanation of how I finished that race and didn't fall down, other than God carried me through it. 

I have no memory of the most exciting part of the race.

I remember getting to the baseball stadium, but I do not remember running across that field and crossing home plate of the Carolina Gamecock baseball stadium, which makes me sad.  Thankfully, Justin snapped this picture as proof that I did indeed finish:

I am so bummed that I don't remember finishing the race. 

All I remember is seeing a chair with a big bag in it and grabbing on to the chair.  I asked the guy (who ended up being the most useless paramedic ever) to move the bag so I could sit down.  Justin came over and said I was as white as a sheet.  When I run or get hot at all, I am super red-faced so he knew something was wrong.  Apparently I wasn't answering his questions at first, but he gave me some Gatorade and I started feeling better.  It was the craziest feeling ever.  It was like I was there but not.  I sat there for about 15 minutes and I was fine the rest of the day.  All we've come up with is that my blood sugar and/or blood pressure dropped and/or I got dehydrated.  I've been trying to drink more and I'm taking a multivitamin again to try to replenish anything I may have lost.  Hopefully that'll do the trick.  No worries!  If I still feel weird as I run again I'll get checked out! 

Now for the fun part... My official time for finishing the 7.45 miles was 1 hour, 18 minutes and 45 seconds.  (Y'all, I ran for an HOUR!)  I averaged 10:35 per mile, which is really good for me!  I was #505 out of 609 people, so I wasn't last either.  :)

My rock star husband finished in 1 hour, 5 minutes and 5 seconds, which put him at an average pace of 8:47 per mile.  He finished in 241st place.  Awesome, right?!  I'm so proud of him!

After the race we had a super nutritious breakfast at the Waffle House.  I know, but chocolate chip pancakes were calling my name!

Justin's parents brought the kids to see us finish the race and they were pretty excited.  They have been training with us, after all.  :)  Derrick's only request was to stand on the pitcher's mound but he wouldn't do it alone.  Maybe we have a future baseball player?

So we made it out alive and have the medals to prove it.  Woo hoo!  I'm so thankful that God has given us legs that can carry us and lungs that can feed us the oxygen we need to make it through...even though a lot of the time it doesn't feel that way.  It feels good to push, and I'm so thankful He is showing us that we are capable as long as it's with Him.  I'm telling you what...there is absolutely no other way I would have crossed that finish line!

To God be the glory!